Saturday, August 6, 2011

Building Blocks in the Garden

Towards the end of our Atlanta trip, my parents asked if they could use our van to grab some landscape block from Lowe's.

They wanted to build some rings around their trees after we left.  It didn't make sense to let my parents do all that work themselves, so I insisted on helping out and getting the project done while I was there to help.  Here's where we started.  Naked trees with no definition between the lawn and the tree circle.

We started by laying out a circle of block, using a shovel to define the circle, then moving the block, and removing the sod.

We removed some dirt on the high side(the lot slopes up from the street,) and tamped down the dirt after leveling it.  The great part about doing this project in the Deep South is that you don't have to take into account a frost line like you do in the north.  You might get the odd snow flurry, but it never gets the sustained cold that leads to ground upheaval.

Each individual block was laid and leveled, removing or adding a little dirt as needed.  I would have taken more pics of this process, but I had to keep moving or my dad was going to do all the work, bad back and all.  Once the first course was laid and leveled, the second course went on easy peasy.  All the work is in getting that first course right(unless you're up north, then a good chunk of the work is in digging 2 feet to get past the frost line, leveling gravel, leveling decomposed granite, then laying the first course.)

They plan on adding soil and flowers to the base of these trees.

I'm sure the flowers will look terrific when in, since my mom has the ultimate green thumb.  Here's a closer look at the roses and palms in her front garden.

Healthy nectarine trees.

Persimmon trees dripping with fruit in the backyard.

The veggie garden is growing like crazy.

Their bittermelon vine needed a heavy duty arbor.

They've planted lemongrass all around the perimeter of the garden to keep the snakes away.  It must work, because even with a creek at the back of the property, I didn't see a single snake in the garden.  The boys did see a couple when they went down to the lake to fish.

Inside, my mother has tons of thriving greenery, too.  Ranging from succulents like these.  Do you see the elephant in the trunk of the middle one?

To giant palms.

Thanks for popping in and spending some time in my parents' garden laying block with me.


  1. Great post. I wonder why lemongrass keeps snakes at you know?

  2. Very sweet of you to help with the tree edging. Your parents' yard is gorgeous~such a beautiful mix of colors and textures.

  3. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful yard and plants.

  4. Oh that will look SO great once the flowers are in.

  5. What a sweet daughter you are. It's a lovely tree, and your mom is obviously a terrific gardener.

  6. Its a lovely garden and a beautiful home too. Great job with the landscaping blocks!

  7. I love how these not only define the trees from the lawn, I love the visual effect of the stairstep of the stone like a flower design.

  8. Nice geometry and vision! Looks like a great husband/wife project! Protects the trees too! Thank-you for sharing it.

    Please consider helping with the Miracle Makeover Party next week for kids with cancer. For more stop by at

    love, kelee

  9. This looks fantastic! Sets the trees apart! Love the garden -I recognize the red soil! Lovely to meet you,

  10. Someone definitely has a green thumb or two! Your vacations sound so much like ours.... we always like to help family members do DIY projects.

  11. That looks so good! I have wanted to use some landscaping bricks to create a layered flower bed. Hasn't happened yet though :).


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